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Special Report With Bret Baier

News/Business. Bret Baier. The latest news from inside the Beltway. New.












Afghanistan 16, Iraq 11, U.s. 8, Washington 7, Amway 4, Kabul 4, Obama 3, Liberty Medical 3, Towery 3, Baghdad 3, Nascar 3, Dr. Nicholson 3, Friskies Party Mix Cat Treats 2, Mr. Obama 2, Grassley 2, Obama Administration 2, Fox News 2, Geico 2, Steve 2, Minnesota 2,
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  FOX News    Special Report With Bret Baier    News/Business. Bret Baier. The  
   latest news from inside the Beltway. New.  

    August 19, 2009
    6:00 - 7:00pm EDT  

[captioning made possible by fox news channel] captioned by the national captioning institute bret: next, will democrats on capitol hill abandon healthcare reform and go solo? and terrorists coordinate a series of bombings in baghdad in the deadliest day of the year for iraq, and just one day ahead of afghanistan's elections, the taliban signals it will put up a fight of its own. all that plus the all-star panel, right here, right now. welcome to washington. i'm bret baier. president obama's push to speed healthcare reform through congress has hit plenty of speed bumps this summer. today, the white house was
trying to regroup in some pretty fast company. senior white house correspondent major garrett reports one option on the table, going it alone. >> president obama celebrated all things nascar with last year's sprint cup champion, jimmie johnson, and even his aides say his healthcare package isn't stalled and can still be won. >> the discussion is not over. >> house minority whip eric cantor agrees the debate is not over but says the president is spinning his wheels. >> what i really see right now is a white house in chaos over healthcare. >> mr. obama's chief of staff, rahm emanuel, told "the new york times" today the republican leadership believes killing healthcare is, quote, more important for their political goals than solving the health insurance problems that americans face every day. the president agrees republican leaders are trying to stloa sand in the gears but will for a while at least pursue a bipartisan
compromise. >> he says we take seriously the fact that there are republicans, three of which are on the finance committee, that have said they are commited to an dedicated to healthcare reform, and we will believe that unless and until we're told that is not the case. >> montana democrat max baucus is leading the senate finance committee negotiations which will continue tomorrow, but if those talks bake down, senate democratic leader say they will go it alone and thwart any g.o.p. mill buster with a maneuver that would allow them to vote with a 51% majority. a quinnipiack poll taken before the intense national town hall debates over healthcare underscored the risks of bipartisanship and 59% said they disagreed with a democratic-only healthcare solution, including 53% of democrats an 63% of independents. fox caught up in eye with with charles grassley. >> i wish the white house would take a deep breath and
pause. we're talking about healthcare. that's life or death, affecting every american. we're talking about 1/6 of the economy. it ought to be broad based. it shouldn't be partisan. >> another g.o.p. negotiator, mike enzy of wyoming, lasted the so-called public option for healthcare reform, one that the g.o.p. embraces an liberals covet. monopolies never improve efficiency, and a government run option is really no option at all. as the president was walking back to the nascar event, he was asked if there would be a bill this year and he said i'm confident we will get a bill regarding healthcare and he also said, quote, and i hope it is bipartisan. one other thing the president just wrapped up is a conference call with religious leaders from across the left in the country, urged to use their pulpits to push for healthcare reform in the next 45 days. the president called it an ethical and moral obligation.
as the death panel pop plagues says, it is bearing false witness. bret: some in the president's party are doing an end run around their republican colleagues and really putting the squeeze on their designated boog i didman in the private debate, private insurers. chief political correspondent carl cameron explains. >> an official letter from house democrats to a few dozen insurance companies may amount to the most blatant pressure politics yet to pass healthcare reform. the opening sentence reads almost like a warning "the committee on energy and commerce is examining executive compensation and other business practices in the bis health insurance industry." henry waxman, who chairs the health energy and commerce committee, and bart stau pack signed the letters but did not tell republicans about their plans. with
>> cuss town hall meetings going on nationwide, and polls showing increased opposition to a government-run insurance program or so-called public option, neither waxman or stupak nor their staffs would comment on the story r democrats blame anti-reform ads like this one on the private health insurance industry. >> now washington wants to bring canadian-style healthcare to the u.s. but government should not become you and your doctor. >> a government-run option could put health insurance companies at a competitive disadvantage and even out of business but said they support healthcare reform in general. >> we support bipartisan reforms that congress can build on. >> not good enough for democrats. before congress took its august vacation, democrats banded private insurers immoral villains for opposing a government-run insurance option. house speaker nancy pelosi. >> it's clear that we want a strong public option in the legislation.
insurance companies are out there in full force carpet bombing, shock and awe against a public option. >> raising the intimidation stakes, the waxman letter offers insurers no explanation at all of what is being investigated or why. but they are after sensitive information and casting a wide net. 52 health insurance companies have until september 4 to provide congress a detailed list of every employee who made over half a million a year between 2003 and 2008. democrats want documents about any conferences or events held off insurance company property as well as the types of transportation, lodging, food, entertainment and even gifts that may or may not have been exchanged. industry insiders fear the beginning of reprisals from anyone daring to dissent from the obama agenda. bret: you read this letter and it is pointed and broad. >> and no explanation as to what precisely they are looking at. they say send us your
information and we expect it by september 4. bret: wow. thank you. an overwhelming majority of the people who participated in the latest fox opinion poll thinks if healthcare is passed , the p president and congress should be enrolled in it. 81% feel that way. 15% disagree a physician in minnesota is doing hands-on research into health insurance. he has given up his employer-provided plan in order to better relate to his patients. paul bloom of fox affiliate kmsp reports from maplewood, minnesota. >> dr. nicholson. >> at saint john's hospital in maplewood, dr. wilt nickelson isn't sure what it needs but he knows the healthcare system needs fixing. >> i have seen families lose everything. >> he is most concerned about patients who don't have access to an employer health plan, people who go without insurance and try to find basic affordable coverage on
their own. >> i have had patients ask me to not do procedures that i thought were important for them, not do tests that i thought were necessary, because they were afraid their insurance wouldn't cover it. >> last month, dr. nicholson elected to drop his own insurance and the 31-year-old went shopping for an individual plan to better understand the decisions facing his patients. it is like buying airline tickets. you're not sure why one costs more than the other when they look similar. >> the debate over healthcare reform has sparked anger, fear and hysteria at town hall meetings across the country. >> under this plan -- >> the kind of emotion that dr. thick olson insists is all too familiar. >> we chuckle and say welcome to healthcare. this is what we deal with on a daily basis. >> the latest discussion in washington focuses on a public option and whether there should be a government-run insurance program. >> the options that we have aren't good enough. we need more options. >> dr. nicholson admits he is not a health policy expert but
does believe that everyone in the u.s. should have medical insurance. >> it gets so complicated. >> so far he has tried one short-term plan with a high deductible and is making arrangements to tie a different policy next month. he will report his findings on his website, and in so doing, maybe maybe make a difference. >> i think we have to hold ourselves to a higher standard bret: texas republican senator john cornyn wants the white house to purge any data it received from responses to its call for information about so-called fishy claims concerning healthcare. the administration has shut down one website where the responses were sent. cornyn says, quote, no american knows for certain whether his or her personally identifiable information or speech are included in this data or how the data sent to's account will be used." we will continue to follow this story. does the president's senior advisor have a conflict of interest regarding an ad
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bret: iraqi officials are blaming al qaeda for a wave of explosions in dag dad that have left at least 95 people dead and 400 wounded. it is the deadliest day in iraq so far this year. >> the coordinated attacks racked the iraqi capital and rocked the heart of the government. first a truck bomb blew up outside the finance ministry bringing down an overpass. at the same time, four more explosions across the city, mostly in kabul, and then a larger explosion happened outside the foreign ministry there, taking down the 11 floors of the front of the building and a blast wave came this way. cars in front of the ministry were blown into the air and caught fire with their occupants inside.
the shock wave was so intense, it shook buildings nearby and even ripped window frames from walls here at the nearby fox news bure he row. one of the fox news irak i can staff was visit be the foreign minute sty at the time and lucky to survive. he was traveling by mini bus when the bomb exsmoadzed. his bus slipped through and he escaped unharmed. >> i saw the big explosion there, and many cars were down and people were running, and policemen were shooting. >> the truck managed to clear the security checkpoints without being stopped. these attacks are a huge problem for the iraqi government, which has said it has control over the security situation in baghdad, so much so that it has announced mans to take down the blast walls that are spread across the city. these attacks raise serious concerns about the capability of iraqi security forces now
that they are operating without u.s. military help following the june 30 agreement. the iraqi public is shocked by what has happened today. >> this is not good news. i lost a lot in the blast. we were happy with our own security but not now. >> the iraqi government needs to show it can deal with the upsurge in attacks if it is going to have any credibility with the public here. bret: six american troops died in a series of attacks in afghanistan where crucial elections will be held thursday. militants also killed a half dozen election workers today, spreading fear that the taliban will make election day a bloody affair. greg palkot reports from kabul. >> politicking, afghan-style. there is no position of popular democracy. illiteracy, poverty and violence can be seen all around. today in kabul, there was a shootout at a bank with the taliban claiming involvement,
and so it's a different kind of presidential election, but crucial. >> it will be very important to improve conditions towards democracy. >> president karzai is seeking re-election to a second five-year term. he is now accused by his rival of corruption and inefficiency. not so says his spokesman. >> he has shown his leadership in the security front, on the islamic front, on the development front. >> there is still a lot of problems. >> absolutely. you are phrasing a country at war. >> his challenge is former president abdul, and he wants to to back to the government that was before karzai. >> the latest polls p put karzai just short of the 50% he needs to avoid a runoff vote. to gauge public opinion, we
paraphrased the old ronald reagan campaign showing gan and asked the folks here "are you better off now than you were five years ago?" when president karzai was first elected? the answers were mixed. >> we have had more improvements in afghanistan and in education and other things. >> but this man says -- >> the security here is not very good at all. it's getting worse every day, and while this woman come mains about high prices, she does admit -- >> it's better now, because i can come out without a burqa. all this is making prospects for tomorrow's vote unclear. deal making with unsavory warlords might get karzai the blocks of votes he needs, but the face of southern afghanistan might cost him. with the streets empty for security reasons, afghan officials are simply hoping there will only be political
casualties tomorrow. in kabul, greg palkot, fox news. bret: several republicans here at home, republican senators, are expressing concern over reports that attorney general eric holder is considering the appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate c.i.a. personnel who interrogated terror suspects during the bush administration. they write that such a probe could affect the security of all americans, quote, the intelligence community will be had left to wonder whether actions taken today in the interests of national security will be subject to legal recriminations when the mill winds shift. the terrorist convicted of blowing up pan am night 103 21 years ago will be freed from prison thursday. he will be released because he has terminate prostrate cancer. he is serving a 27-year sentence for killing all 259 people onboard that plane and 11 on the ground when it blew up over lockerbie, scotland in 1988. we will explain how cap and trade legislation may be a
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bret: transportation secretary ray lahood says dealers will get their money. lahood says some of the submitted paperwork has been income meet or inak at. the transportation department says it will have 1,100 workers dealing with applications by the end of this week. the obama administration is getting ready for another drain on resources. a possible h1n1 flu outbreak. today, officials suggested that despite their best efforts, they are losing their battle with the calendar.
correspondent james rosen fills us in. >> when flu season coughs and sneezes into full swing in a few weeks, the nation's top homeland security official acknowledged to fox news, it will still be months before the u.s. has full access to the 195 million doses of h1n1 vie us vaccine now on order. >> we asking individuals to anticipate, yeah, a flu that we don't have a vaccine prepared for. yes, there will be a gap. >> tom obama officials say more doses of the swine flu virus vaccine will be purchased. >> we never expected that they would all be available day one. >> there are rev forts underway to increase the number of doses salable to address this situation. >> the officials urging employers to administer seasonal flu shots available now and to prepare for greater
absenteeism. >> in america, we love to praise the puritan work ethic, and with reason, but this fall, it would serve the country better to praise common sense and responsibility. >> after touring critical infrastructure sites in the gulf coast monday, the homeland sec secretary said she would prepare for disruption. >> right now, this virus has not mutated. the most likely scenario is heavier than usual flu season, perhaps mirroring what happened in the late 1950's. >> that was a reference to the asian flew of 1957 which killed 2 million people worldwide, about 70,000 here in the states. however, the regular flu killed upwards of 56,000 just three years ago. james rosen, fox news. bret: stocks were up today. the dow rose 61. the s&p 500 picked up 6. the nasdaq gained 13. why the left-leaning clientele
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bret: now the latest from the political grapevine. questions are being asked about david axelrod and a firm that still has his son and akpd still owes him $2 million. the firm is part of a multi-million dollar advertising deal with the healthy heatle economy that include pharma, the lobbying group that represents the drug industry. a huffington post blogger addressed the house conference statement, some wonder whether a white house senior advisor earning millions paid for in part by the pharmaceutical industry represents the kind of change americans can believe in. and politico writes, quote,
it's hard to imagine a situation in which, say, karl rove was still getting checks from a furn that was, in turn, employed by the drug lobby not drawing fire from the left." robert gibbs brushed off any criticism as, quote, ridiculous, saying axelrod left the firm to join public service. whole foods' c.e.o. jock mackey is in a lot of trouble with those who shop at his chain. he wrote an article called the whole foods alternative to obama-care discussed his belief that healthcare is not an intrinsic right that. didn't sit well with left-leaning shoppers a facebook group calling for a whole foods boycott has more than 15,000 members. one blogger writes "not very smart for a company that depends almost entirely on wealthy democrats who are willing to pay $5 for a six-ounce carrot so d.a." another posting on the liberal
daily coast blog echoed "mr. mackey, you just blanked all over your customers. " the corporate office maintains that he was expressing his views and not those of the company. the obama administration is going to lend $2 billion for a brazilian state owned oil company to finance drilling off that country's shores. "the wall street journal" reports that national security advisor jim jones met with brazilian owe fucials this officials this month to talk about the loan. the editorial board writes "americans are right to wonder why mr. obama is underwriting in brazil what he won't allow at home. the deal is also good news for billionaire investor and major democratic donor george soros. according to bloomberg, soros bought an $811 million stake pest trobras earlier this year, making that company his investment fund's largest holding, about 22% of its
portfolio. we reached out to the white house for comment on the brazil deal but have not heard back yet. you can add the nation's farmers to the growing chorus of people upset by the prospect of cap and trade legislation becoming law, but supporters of the measures say the farmers will actually benefit. so who is right? we report. you decide. here is correspondent steve brown. >> in these carbon conscious days, you might think farming would be the ultimate green job. >> we one of the good guys, virallally friendly. >> the folks who grow the food americans eat, but is the price of the groceries destined to go up because of cap and trade? >> the bill is bad. >> the u.s. house almost passed the bill in june that would require america to cut greenhouse gases 80% by 2050. cap and trade has already gotten farmers' attention and
opposition has been growing. >> 60% of the input costs, the costs that i have to deal with are energy related. >> like the fertilizer and fuel monte whipple uses. under the house cap and trade bill, many farmers believe those costs will rise. >> on a localized term, it is about $35 an acre or $11,000 a year. >> which ultimately would drive food prices up. agriculture secretary tom vilsack says farmers are policing the opportunities for them to make money. >> over the long haul, it is potentially tens of billions of dollars of net income for farmers. >> they could earn carbon credits for low carbon farming methods or even for not farming some land at all. sill sack says "we have to compete against those who already pouring money into gene technologies, countries like china." >> they are placing a large bet on their ability to
innovate. we don't want to be behind that. >> tom harkin, the democratic senator from iowa is also the chairman of the senate agricultural committee and is on record of saying if the senate is to tackle a climate bill, he wants an opt out clause so if the u.s. is going through the pain of limiting its emissions an china and india aren't, that they can opt out of the legislation. bret. bret: steve brown live in des moines. thanks. a civilian employee from fort louis army base in washington is at the center of a case over constitutional rights of speech and free assembly over over the government's concern over a group that engamed in civil disobedience. correspondent dan springer picked up the story r >> as anti-war groups tried to block this shipment of military equipment from ports in washington state to iraq and afghanistan, they had no idea a spy had infiltrated the ranks. now they are building a case against the man they knew as
peace activist john cake could be, who is, in fact, john towery, a civilian army employee assigned to protection division at port arthur, washington. >> i sense a sense of betrayal. i felt like i lost a friend, and in reality, i did. >> the port militarization e assistance, or p.m.r. claims towery, a member of the group for two years and manages an e-mail list was illegally reporting and monitoring activities to police. the group broke his cover through a freedom of information request and towery's facebook page. officials issued a statement concerning that his job is to support enforcement and security operations aimed at protecting soldiers and to gather anti-terrorism intelligence. as to whether he or anyone else broke the law, the base has launched their own investigation. >> legal experts say even in the wartime environment, unless the army had information that protestors were working with the
terrorist organization or foreign power, towery may have violated the post reconstruction act, barring the military from engaging in domestic law enforcement. >> infiltration by the military of a domestic organization is profoundly defavorred and can be done only with authority at the highest level. >> but military mom, wendy stanesbury, whose son and son-in-law both served overseas, believes groups like p.m.r. do pose a threat. >> it is not the role of the f.b.i. and the county sheriff to protect united states army military members. it is up to the military, the u.s. army to protect their own soldiers. >> p.m.r. maintains it is strictly non-silent and has no ties to terrorist roar foreign governments. the group is preparing a lawsuit against the army and local police departments. in tacoma washington, dan springer, fox news. >> the man credited with creating the news magazine 60 minutes has died. don hewitt envisioned the t.v.
version of life magazine when he came up with the idea. he produced that he show for 36 years. before, that he produced the first televised presidential debate between john kennedy and richard nixon. cbs says hewitt died of pancreatic cancer. he was 86 years old. >> are the democrats preparing to fight the healthcare battle without any republican help? the fox all-stars share their thoughts when we come back.lo cheer for your indoor cat... fueling an exhilarating adventure. each entrée is bursting with high-quality protein plus wholesome grain and garden greens. specially formulated to promote hairball control clear feed the senses. now turn treat time into party time with friskies party mix cat treats. get the party started!
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my nexium. announcer: for many, one prescription nexium pill a day can heal damage to the esophagus that acid reflux disease may cause over time. and nexium can provide 24-hour heartburn relief. headache, diarrhea, and abdominal pain are possible side effects of nexium and other serious stomach conditions may still exist. announcer: ask your doctor about the healing purple pill. learn how you can save online. if you can't afford your medication, astrazeneca may be able to help. >> we're focusing on how to get bipartisan support and how to get members of both parties who want to work on comprehensive healthcare reform. that's what we're focused on. >> they have, from the very beginning, tried to go it alone on this, much to the
disappointment of we republicans in the house, and certainly the american people. bret: over the weekend, the administration looked like they were setting to negotiate away the public option government-run health insurance. now it could be set to go it alone. at least that's what the new york times said on the front page today. democrats o set to seem to go it alone cite resistance of the g.o.p., and also we heard from the senate majority leader, harry reid's spokesman saying "we will not make a decision to pursue reconciliation. this is the process of the vote, until we have exhausted efforts to produce a bipartisan bill. however, patience is not unlimited. we are determined to get something done this year by any legislative means necessary." so what about this? let's bring in our panel, steve hayes with the week hadly standard, and a.b. stoddard, associate writer of the hill and byron williams.
>> eric can cantor is right. in the house, they have been going it alone since the beginning. remember the fight in the energy committee between the blue dog democrats? the reason they were having that fight is because they made the decision at the beginning that they weren't going to get any republican votes at all. they drafted the bill by themselves and have been pushing it by themselves. as far as the house is concerned, the democrats have always been going it alone. as far as the senate is concerned, they have been having negotiations with three, count 'em three republicans, and that's been the bipartisanship here. i mean, there hasn't been a whole lot. bret: there was an event with the winner of the nascar race, the president did, and he was walking out, according to our reporters there, and he was asked about bipartisan healthcare reform bill, and he said "i am absolutely confident we are going to get a bill and i hope it's bipartisan." are we getting mixed messages?
>> well, they walked back the public option news from the weekend and walking back the news that they are going to go it alone. they will continue. they have lost control of the message weeks ago. now they're just bumbling it even more, but they should -- the message should be that they are still trying to work with republicans. the message should be that they're not going to go it alone until the final hours that they should be seeking bipartisan support and bipartisan compromise and continue to work with the gang of six in the senate with senators grassley and enzi and0thers to try to get some republican votes. not only is it technically almost impossible to use the reconciliation procedure to come up with a purely partisan bill, and it's too complicated to describe right here right now, but you could literally end up with a bill that only spends or cuts. i mean, you can't end up with a bill that changes insurance policy, ok, so that's a really complicated road, but also, it's a political disaster for
them to leave out the other party and try to ram something through the senate, using a procedure, by the way, that was designed to keep the deficit under control. bret: you're talking about reconciliation. >> eck council yation. >> they would only need 51 votes instead of the 60 normally required. reconciliation is what it is called. it used to be called the nuclear option, didn't it? >> yes, yes. it was invented long ago by senator byrd, and it was to protect the deaf sigs, and he has said that he is against his party using this to ram a spending bill and a policy bill through the senate. it would be nuclear if they left the other party out, and tied to pull this through without the republicans. bret: you mentioned the gang of six. mike enzi came out today and said this "if the democrats choose to go it alone, their healthcare plan will fail because the american people will have no confidence in
it." for republicans sitting at that table, steve, do you think that they are feeling pushed away from the table? >> they should. the white house and even the president today is sending mixed messages about what they are doing. the problem at the white house is simple. they're tieing to sell a plan that most americans don't want. they're trying to appease the left wing of their party and please the left wing of their party at the same time that they're trying to make a broad appeal to most americans by calling health insurance reform and other things like that. it's hard to square the circle. what's been interesting to watch in the last week is a white house without a message, total chaos on messaging. they have switched messages on the public option, as a.b. mentioned on bipartisanship, on what have you. you can go back and i think you're reaching a point at which the white house is beginning to make brett favre look decisive. they have switched messages about 50 times that. doesn't work when you're trying to sell a plan. >> pushing all of this is
pressure from the left, because you have the democratic base saying we have 256 democrats in the house and 56 in the senate and we can't pass this stuff? that is the anger that is pushing the white house and making them go in every which way. >> but it is such an ignorant thing to say. for the left to make these arguments, i mean, the primary fight here, as we've talked about before here on the panel is between democrats, is among democrats. it's not really among republicans. when you talk about abandoning bipartisanship, remember, it was jim cooper who said what, about a month ago, that he had been told directly that he had been told directly, a blue dog democrat, don't work with republicans on this. that came down on the house side of things. bipartisanship has long been gone. bret: the politico writes that
"the president recognizes he will have to pass healthcare with democratic votes alone and saying that we were forced into this by republicans. >> i would make the point that the republicans should not confuse leading the opposition with leadership on this issue. i do think that there will be reason for them to ultimately vote on a final bill. i'm serious about this. it is not that they shouldn't oppose the stimulus package and everything else they have opposed but on this issue when they know medicare needs cutting and know that our system currently cannot sustain, they should look like they with democrats the best they can. i was going to finish up that the white house cannot blame the republican party for where they are, are and for the white house to admit in "the washington post" today that not only that the democratic party and the obama white house couldn't read the public, which is the true test of leadership, but then they
couldn't eade their own party. they didn't know the public revolt on the public option was coming from the left. it's stunning. bret: plenty of medical care has been needed in iraq and afghanistan as violence continues to increase in both countries. the panel weighs in next. cheer clear %%%%%%%%%%%%%%
>> these bombings are truly dastardly acts that need to be thoroughly condemned by everybody. i think these particular bombings are targeting the foreign ministry and the finance ministry really targeted the entire international community. >> this is probably one of the most complex elections that is being attempted anywhere in 2009. you have problems of
insecurity in afghanistan. you have very difficult access to the country. you have very weak institutions. bret: well, silence in two countries where u.s. troops are still in force on the ground in the had hundreds of thousands in the two countries together. 95 dead. 400 wounded in iraq today from a series of bombings there and afghanistan getting ready i did for elections tomorrow. let's go down on the line on iraq, steve and what is happening there with today, really, the worst violence in more than a year. >> yeah. i think this is partial a result of the fact that he we pulled back some of the blast barriers, the posture of the irak i can army and the iraqi security forts, especially inside baghdad has been lower profile. insurgents pay attention to these things. i think anytime you have attacks of this magnitude, killing as many people as you have, it's something to be concerned about, but i'm much more concerned about the broader gee yo political
problems in iraq. you have the kurds in the north still concerned about where exactly they fit in in a broader iraq. you have a series of problems, i think local problems right now, that have the potential, i think, to grow into real significant problems down the ode. >> well, this violence, i think, was really expected after the initial withdrawl in june and it is much worse, the worst event in a year, the worst event of the year. any increase in violence is going to be a setback, not only for us in iraq but for us in afghanistan, if it causes the administration to reconsider their time line for a complete withdrawl in 2011 and how we're moving troops around, and i think there is a broader point on the public's mood souring, and there is a poll out this afternoon that a majority think that the afghan war is unwinnable. the public is souring on staying in iraq. i think there will be
political pressures from obama's own party, progressives, who want to get out now, don't care what is happening on the ground and spend that money elsewhere. bret: the vote in afghanistan is tomorrow, the big presidential vote but there are some parts of the country where the violence is still increasing. >> just like in iraq in times passed, the idea is to have so many threats of violence that you can just shut down the election and declare it essentially as illegitimate and go on from there. to what a.b. said about the anti-war activities, the interesting thing about obama's position now with afghanistan where he is escalating 68,000 troops by the end of the year, and in iraq where we still have 130,000, you see, he is not facing this domestic pressure so far. the so call net roots activists told a convention in pittsburgh, stanley greenburg, the democratic pollster did a poll saying what are your top concerns? getting out of iraq and afghanistan was at the bottom of of the list, way below
healthcare and the environment and all these other issues. so far, the president has not faced that domestic pressure. bret: there is unfortunately 200,000 troops between the two countries. a.b. is the afghanistan war worth fighting, and 51% said no, and yes, 47%, and this is supposedly the good war, steve. is this a problem for the president? >> it's a problem for the president. it's a problem for the country. i mean, we need to win the war in afghanistan. winning the war in afghanistan is going to take decisive and courageous political leadership. it's going to be hard for him to do that given the resistance i expect he will get in his own party from net roots and others. i think he is getting some from congress. essentially you have the out of iraq caucus is working into the out of afghanistan caucus in congress. you think when you look at 24% approval, you're talking about a situation where the president will will have to be bold and make decisions about escalating.
he is going to have to mean it. he has said the right things thus far, but he is going to have to do the right things. bret: very soon. that's it for the panel. stay tuned for in depth coverage you may have missed. .
bret: finally tonight, we told you earlier that afghanistan is holding its presidential election thursday, an election that has received a lot of coverage because of the violence that has led up to the voting. it's fair to say that very few americans could name the major candidates on the ballot in afghanistan. but viewers of one show may now know one of them. >> dr. abdullah abdullah, the soft-spoken ophthalmologist who was regarded as one of the few decent men in afghan politics. he is the politician so nice they abdullahed him twice. bret: then there is that. that's it for "special report" this time. the only place you w g